The cast of The O.C. then and now

California here we come.

The early 2000s was an epic time for drama shows that appealed to teens. From One Tree Hill, to Everwood, or even Smallville, there was no shortage of fun angst filled shows on network television. But the list could not be complete without The O.C., a TV show that managed to stand out from all the others.

The O.C. first premiered in August 2003 and it instantly became a hit with teenagers all across America. The show only lasted for four seasons, coming to a close in February 2007, which many fans felt was just too soon. To this day, many people still go back and binge watch the entire series even though it’s been off the air for over a decade now.

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Unlike other shows that brought you to the fast pace life of New York City, or the quaint life in a small town, The O.C. brought you to the drama filled homes of the wealthy and glamours residents of Orange County, California. With gorgeous beaches combined with beautiful people, and lots of money to go around, it was certainly something to see.

The O.C. followed Ryan Atwood, a teenage boy growing up in a rough home. After an incident that lands him in jail, he finds an unlikely ally in his public defender Sandy Cohen. Sandy seems to genuinely care about Ryan, and when Ryan is later thrown out of his home and has nowhere to go, it’s Sandy he calls for help. Sandy may look like a run of the mill public defender, but it turns out he lives with his wife and son in the ritzy world of Newport Beach, Orange County. With Sandy’s huge house, nice car, and loving family, Ryan experiences quite the culture shock.


Ryan and Sandy’s son Seth soon strike up a strong friendship, and from there we follow the two boys on their journey through navigating their way through this wealthy, upper class, culture while also still dealing with all the regular pains of growing up. Between them, their friends, their girlfriends, and their families there is no shortage of drama awaiting them as the series continued.

What made the show stand out wasn’t just the way the story sucked you in, but also the stellar performances from the show’s actors. For a number of them, The O.C. was the first major foray into the acting world, and they certainly proved themselves during their time there. Many of them have gone on to appear in other big shows and movies, and it might surprise you to see how well they’ve aged. But no matter how old they get, fans are always going to think of them as the endearing cast of The O.C.

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